Serena Williams vs Anastasija Sevastova: US Open semi-final preview
- How do Serena Williams and Anastasija Sevastova stand against each other and which one holds an edge over the other?
Anastasija Sevastova defeated Sloane Stephens, the defending US Open champion 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals, avenging the defeat Stephens had handed her in 2017. They'd met in the same round back then and Stephens had been the eventual winner of the tournament.
Sevastova had quit tennis in 2013 because of injuries and the strenuous schedule. She made a comeback in 2015 and is the first Latvian woman ever to have reached the semi-finals of the US Open. This is also her first Grand Slam semi-final.
She's up against the formidable Serena Williams who has been in the news not just for her wardrobe but also her match-winning performances. She defeated Karolina Pliskova in straight sets despite a sluggish start to the match.
Williams and Sevastova have never played against each other and this should be an interesting match. Let's look at how the two stand against each other.
Sevastova has had a spectacular run-up to the semi-finals even though a couple of the matches turned out to be tough. She has an impressive all-round game. If she continues in a similar fashion and plays her slice and drop shots well, she can gain an edge on Serena who looks a little out of sorts when playing these shots.
But Sevastova's serve isn't one of her best weapons. She has a solid defence but lacks specific weapons in her armour that will allow her to derail Serena's game. Besides, this is her first Grand Slam semi-final which could slightly unnerve her.
Serena, on the other hand, has a lot of experience playing these kinds of big matches. She is a veteran in the Grand Slam circuit. She has won the US Open Women's Singles title 6 times and the US Open Women's Doubles title twice. Moreover, she stands to equal Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam titles if she is to win this US Open title.
Serena's game has been amazing till now. She has been consistent with her aces and winners. She has hit 60 aces and 169 winners till now. These free points really boost her game. She is moving better on the court and looks fitter than her previous match outings since her comeback.
But sometimes, she is error-prone and her serve tends to go haywire like it did against Angelique Kerber in the final of Wimbledon this year. She ended up losing the match, partly because of the sheer amount of unforced errors she'd made.
If Serena takes an aggressive mode, serves well and does not make many unforced errors, she will cruise to the finals.
Published 06 Sep 2018, 22:31 IST